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Are the saponins in "soap nuts" that I use to wash my hair with a problem?

Commented on January 03, 2015
Created January 01, 2015 at 2:05 PM

Anyone else using "wash nuts" or "soap nuts" (same thing) as an alternative to commercial shampoos? I have been using them for years with great results but only recently realized that they contain saponins, which apparently is what gives them their washing quality. Saponins are considered an anti-nutrient when ingested (some are worse than others though, according to an article I have read).

My main intention behind my use of soap nuts is to minimize my exposure to and the amount of toxic and/or unnecessary chemical compounds.

I know that the rule-of-thumb is that nothing I am not prepared to put inside my body is to be used on the outside either. :) Question is if these are the "bad kind" of saponins or not, and if they can affect my skin or hair in a negative way or not?

Should I be worried about my saponin use for washing my hair? Are there other, better, alternatives? Do let me know either way, please! :)

 

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3 Answers

2
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19483)

on January 01, 2015
at 04:03 PM

The saponins in soap nuts do their job in cleaning hair and/or laundry.  As long as you don't eat them, they can't damage your gut lining. 

 

Saponins are why we should avoid eating quinoa, but I don't know of anyone who eats soap nuts. :)

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on January 01, 2015
at 04:20 PM

Saponins are also abundant in alfalfa sprouts, which I do eat in rotation with other veggies and sprouts.

Medium avatar

(10591)

on January 01, 2015
at 05:18 PM

My favorite saponin-containing food is cilantro

http://humanelivingnet.net/2013/05/16/acquiring-a-taste-for-cilantro/

Humans have been eating it since at least the Bronze Age. Paleos probably ate it too. We're pretty well adapted to eating it at this stage...even if it makes the salsa and chutney taste a little soapy...

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19483)

on January 01, 2015
at 06:07 PM

Saponins are a class of soap like molecules, the ones found in soap nuts aren't the same as the ones in cilantro, nor the same as the ones in quinoa.

0
Medium avatar

on January 01, 2015
at 02:53 PM

I do all the "big stuff" already. That is why I am aiming at optimizing the small stuff now. The question stands.


Comparing me to a vegan! Now that is an insult!! :) ;)

Medium avatar

(10591)

on January 01, 2015
at 03:03 PM

How are you getting in the 900 kcal a day of activity Cordain recommends?  That's the point. The diet supports the way of life. Shampoo is about as relevant as wearing hemp sandals.

Medium avatar

on January 01, 2015
at 03:15 PM

@thhq

Why does the one necessarily rule out the other? By your logic more or less all the threads in this forum are to be thought of as irrelevant, which they of course are not. A "big" and major question does not necessarily negate all the smaller ones.

Im all for discussing how to get more excercise, but this is not the thread for that. Please respect that.

Medium avatar

(10591)

on January 01, 2015
at 03:29 PM

There used to be a lot of discussion of re-creationist topics like proper shampoo and shoes here. I've picked up tons of downvotes for criticizing things like supplementing with gold sols. Paleos have a tendency to miss the forest for the trees. I'm serious about using lye soap for shampoo, too, and if you want to be a purist about it limit it to once a year. Fat was precious compared to plain water.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19483)

on January 03, 2015
at 02:15 AM

Hmm, wonder if those sandals are smoke-worthy..... :-D

0
Medium avatar

(10591)

on January 01, 2015
at 02:50 PM

Eat a variable diet with lots of meat.

Get in 900 kcals of activity every day.

Those two are key. Saponins in shampoo come somewhere around #10,000 in importance. 

This is the kind of stuff vegans stress out over. If you were paleo about it you'd be making your soap from wood ash and tallow.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19483)

on January 01, 2015
at 04:02 PM

+1

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